Delivering Digital Health Value: Year in Review

OMD works year-round to advance digital tools and initiatives across our key suite of products and services. Throughout 2020-21, we continued to deliver value to clinicians through digital health services to support their clinical practices and the patients they serve. All OMD products and services are complimentary to physicians and nurse practitioners.

omd connects logo

What they are:
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) enhance efficiency and patient care by allowing for the effective transmission and sharing of electronic records directly to clinician’s offices. OMD is evolving EMRs by creating and integrating innovative digital tools to help clinicians provide patient-centred care efficiently in the increasingly complex and rapidly changing health care system.

Value:
Eliminating paper reports brings tremendous clinical value through better practice efficiency and patient outcomes. Clinicians are assured immediate Eliminating paper reports brings tremendous clinical value through better practice efficiency and patient outcomes. EMRs have integrated with several provincial digital health assets to give clinicians access to the high-quality patient data and reports they need for responsive care. New functionality is regularly introduced.

2020-21 Impact:
Almost 20,000 clinicians in Ontario are using an OMD-certified EMR, benefiting nearly 12 million Ontario patients.

Looking ahead, OMD has partnered with Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health to integrate the Digital Health Drug Repository and Digital Health Immunization Repository into EMRs. This integration will provide clinicians access from their EMRs to vital information on dispensed drugs, pharmacy services, and immunization. We are also working with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to digitize the submission of forms between clinicians and MTO, which serves as a new foundation for electronic clinical forms in Ontario.

EMR Certification Program Logo

What it is:
OMD certifies EMRs for clinician use in Ontario, a mandatory requirement to access EMR-integrated provincial digital health tools that support patient care. The EMR Certification Program ensures certified EMRs meet minimum requirements for data, privacy and security, clinical functionality and that they can integrate with provincial systems. OMD also monitors EMR vendors’ ongoing compliance with obligations and expectations, as defined in OMD’s EMR Vendor Certification Agreement.

Value:
This program provides assurance to clinicians and the digital health community that EMR vendors and their products are meeting the mandatory requirements to participate in the provincial electronic health record (EHR) and to drive EMR maturity towards improvements in clinical value and the exchange of EMR data.

2020-21 Impact:
Almost 20,000 Ontario clinicians are using OMD-certified EMRs, with 15 EMR products certified by OMD. In the fall, OMD’s Certification program extended its services to New Brunswick, offering our certification and validation services to improve clinician choice in EMRs, and provide access to provincial systems. During the year, OMD was also engaged by Ontario Health – Virtual Visits Verification Program to begin the work on validating virtual visits solutions for clinicians, increasing their options for reliable virtual digital health tools.

client services and engagement logo

What it is:
OMD certifies EMRs for clinician use in Ontario, a mandatory requirement to access EMR-integrated provincial digital health tools that support patient This team of approximately 40 OMD staff across Ontario provide personalized support to clinician practices every day to meet their digital health needs for patient care and achieve their goals for practice efficiency.

Value:
The Client Services & Engagement team leverages their deep knowledge of both clinical practice and digital health to help clinicians navigate new technologies and platforms, enhance virtual care use, and understand how to improve workflow and data quality, work more efficiently, and deliver more effective patient care.

2020-21 Impact:
Over the year, staff have supported clinician practices with digital health education, onboarding to COVaxON, HRM, i4C Dashboard and OLIS, managing HRM reports and notifications, COVaxON training, staffing for the OVCC, and more. The team has also been instrumental in helping OHTs with their digital health plans.

eConsult Deployment Logo

What it is:
eConsult facilitates timely access to specialist advice for clinicians. OMD is leading the integration of the eConsult service within clinician EMRs. EMR integration of eConsult complements the web service on OTNhub by offering clinicians an additional and convenient access point.

Value:
Clinicians enhance patient care through easy access directly within the EMR to advice from specialists. This often avoids an unnecessary referral for Clinicians enhance patient care through easy access to advice from specialists directly within the EMR. This often avoids an unnecessary referral for an in-person visit to a specialist. EMR integration addresses clinician preference for access to provincial systems from their EMRs to better align with their workflows.

2020-21 Impact:
2,196 consults were provided through eConsult. 90% of surveyed clinicians who use eConsult through their EMRs say that it improves workflow.

eConsult provides an opportunity to ask a specialist a question that might not require a visit. In my experience, I’ve had prompt, thorough responses from specialists that allowed me to prevent delays in my patients’ management. In other cases, they have confirmed what I wanted to try and built my confidence in managing some complex patients. eConsult has also saved my patients travel to a tertiary centre, which they have greatly appreciated. Contact OntarioMD to enroll in the Provincial eConsult Initiative and give eConsult a try!

Dr. Kellie Scott, Lead Physician, Elmwood Family Health Organization
health report manager

What it is:
An award-winning digital tool that enables clinicians using an OntarioMD-certified EMR to securely receive electronic patient reports sent by This multi award-winning digital tool enables clinicians using an OMD-certified EMR to securely receive electronic patient reports sent by participating hospitals and specialty clinics directly into patients’ charts. HRM sends narrative, text-based Medical Record and Diagnostic Imaging reports.

Value:
HRM improves communication among health providers, eliminating paper, saving time and avoiding costs. Its eNotifications feature contributes to patient safety by providing timely Admissions Discharge Transfer (ADT) data to clinicians so they can follow up with patients soon after discharge and prevent complications and hospital readmissions.

2020-21 Impact:
Over 28 million reports were sent via HRM from 560 sending facilities to nearly 13,000 clinicians. This included reports delivered to clinicians from COVID-19 assessment centres and positive test result notifications in OLIS. Looking forward, we will work with health system partners to deliver patients’ COVID-19 vaccination reports to Ontario’s primary care clinicians using HRM.

HRM has been an amazing tool to connect hospitals with primary care physicians and specialists in the community. Most radiology, cardiology and neurology tests in the community are now a part of HRM. This has significantly improved access to information as opposed to a snail mail coming a few weeks later. OLIS and HRM have been the closest we have to connect different information systems for integrated care and are going to be essential for our future.

Dr. A. Monavvari, Family Physician, Toronto
i4C Logo

What it is:
OntarioMD’s award-winning Insights4Care (i4C) program offers tools and services to help clinicians gain better insights about their patients and to OMD’s award-winning Insights4Care (i4C) Program offers tools and services to help clinicians gain better insights about their patients and to make improvements in their care. The i4C Dashboard is an EMR-integrated patient population health management tool based on real-time EMR data, providing at-a-glance a set of indicators or specific data on an individual patient to proactively manage chronic disease or take preventative care action. The i4C Advisory Service leverages OMD’s team of quality improvement and EMR experts to offer personalized support to clinicians, helping them to optimize the use of an EMR and its integrated digital tools.

Value:
The i4C Program helps turn data into better patient outcomes, through preventative care and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Reference information providing a snapshot of the latest research on a variety of conditions is easily accessible through the Help Resources tool on the OntarioMD website. The i4C Dashboard is the only EMR dashboard in Canada that allows users to drill down to the individual patient level.

2020-21 Impact:
1,431 clinicians are using i4C Dashboard, which includes 30 health indicators. A total of 348 clinicians benefited from i4C’s Advisory Service over the year.


As part of the province’s pandemic response, we also leveraged the i4C Program to participate in a remote patient monitoring pilot with the Ontario government. Using the i4C Program’s digital tools, primary care providers can identify high-risk patients in northern Ontario with lung, heart and other chronic conditions who might benefit from remote patient monitoring.

You can just open the dashboard and you have the list of patients that you know need aspects of care addressed. This is a safety net to me. No one slips through the net.

Dr. Leon Bhatia, Family Physician, Toronto
OLIS Logo

What it is:
Community-based family physicians, specialists and nurse practitioners using an OMD-certified EMR can connect to OLIS to securely access the latest lab results for their patients or perform patient queries. OMD is leading deployment on behalf of Ontario Health.

Value:
Clinicians can get timely access to comprehensive patient lab information for improved decision-making, and efficient integration into workflows. For patients this means better management of chronic diseases and fewer visits to the lab for unnecessary or duplicate lab tests.

2020-21 Impact:
There were nearly 2,800 new deployments to OLIS. OLIS enabled clinicians to conduct 7.1M OLIS queries from their EMRs.

omd educates logo
EPA Logo

What it is:
An online self-assessment tool to help EMR users evaluate whether they are unlocking the power of their EMR and EMR data for full potential in key areas such as practice management, information management and diagnosis and treatment support. Our team supports clinicians in optimizing functions in areas identified for improvement.

Value:
OMD is providing support to clinicians and primary care providers to help uncover gaps in practice workflow, efficiency and patient care. Clinicians are in the driver’s seat as they assess the most desired areas of growth using their EMRs and prioritize improvements.

2020-21 Impact:
Through availability and access to this assessment tool, clinicians have been able to measure their progress, and improve their skills and maturity as EMR users.

peer leader program logo

What they are:
A network of 60+ physicians, nurses and clinic managers across the province who are expert users of EMRs and mentor fellow clinicians and allied health professionals on capabilities of their EMRs and digital health tools integrated with EMRs. They are a complimentary service available to help clinician practices realize more clinical value from the EMR and the provincial digital health systems.

Value:
Peer Leaders understand the needs and challenges faced by busy community practices, and their consulting services help optimize the use of the EMR to advance the quality of patient data and deliver better patient care.

2020-21 Impact:
The Peer Leader Program is designed to serve almost 20,000 clinicians and their staff in enhancing EMR use. During the year, 4,100+ engaged with a Peer Leader, and 569 hours were spent by Peer Leaders providing virtual support services in clinics, consultations and at educational events. As early adopters of virtual care tools before the pandemic, they offered practical advice during OMD Educates webinars on how to approach and integrate virtual care into their practices.

My expectations for the OntarioMD Peer Leader Program were significantly exceeded. Dr. Halperin was very adept at EMR usage and tips for productivity. She provided helpful suggestions, with information directly relevant to how I use my EMR. Several of her suggestions have dramatically improved my efficiency and satisfaction with my EMR. I very much appreciate the excellent service provided by the Peer Leader Program and consider my session with a Peer Leader very well-spent. I believe there is tremendous untapped wisdom and clinical, specialty-specific help that Peer Leaders can provide to specialists who use EMRs.

Dr. E. Lalor, Gastroenterologist, Barrie
Privacy and Security Training Logo

What they are:
OMD provides privacy and security training, including tools and resources to physician practices to ensure understanding of their role and responsibilities as health information custodians (HICs) under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), and other laws, as well as an understanding of new technologies and cyberthreats.

Value:
OMD provides complimentary training to physicians and their staff in their role as HICs on relevant topics to facilitate their use of technology in an increasingly digital world, and to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations and protecting their patient and personal data.

2020-21 Impact:
Approximately 4,000 clinicians and their staff have accessed our Privacy & Security Training module on OntarioMD.ca to educate themselves on protecting personal health information and preventing privacy breaches.

OMD also conducted several privacy and security sessions, including at monthly webinars and the Digital Health & Virtual Care Day Conference. At the end of the year, OMD secured funding from Canada Health Infoway to conduct additional privacy & security and virtual care webinars, and develop a new Virtual Care Privacy & Security Training Module for clinicians and their staff, slated for a summer 2021 launch.

omd partners logo

What it is:
OMD is committed to working with health system partners to advance and deliver digital health solutions for clinicians that are integrated with their certified EMRs.

Value:
Through meaningful partnerships with public and private organizations, EMR vendors and our health system partners, we strive to improve clinical workflow and access to health information while reducing the administrative burden on clinicians. We deliver effective digital health solutions that support meeting clinicians’ needs for population health management, preventive care, billing, office efficiency, and more. This enables clinicians to spend more time with their patients and offer more effective and efficient care.

2020-21 Impact:
During the year, OMD strengthened its reputation as a reliable partner, trusted advisor and thought leader for digital health solutions for clinicians. We established new, active relationships within both the public and private sectors to support the digital transformation of health care in Canada.

  • Through a partnership with Kingston General Asthma Unit, we are working to provide advice on new products and services to expand the tools available to patients to manage their asthma.
  • We are enabling a lab e-ordering pilot project with Dynacare. OMD has provided clinical advisory groups, reviewed Dynacare’s lab ordering requirements, and offered recommendations to Dynacare to ensure provincial alignment.
  • We continued to advance the education of clinicians and their staff by partnering with the Ontario Medical Association and Canada Health Infoway to deliver privacy and security and virtual care training.
  • OMD expanded our services across Canada by offering our expertise from the EMR Certification Program to the Government of New Brunswick (NB) for their newly established EMR certification program. The NB certification program’s goal is to give NB physicians more choice in EMRs that can integrate with provincial digital health systems while opening the market to more EMR vendors.
  • We began advising the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Ontario in their exploration around EMRs to improve patient care in correctional facilities across Ontario.